OXFORD'S world-renowned children's hospice has slashed expenditure by £3m after make-or-break cost-cutting measures.

New accounts reveal that Helen & Douglas House recorded a £0.53m surplus in the 2018-19 financial year, up from a loss of £2.42m the previous year, and bosses have now predicted a 'brighter future.'

The annual report is the first since the East Oxford charity closed its adult care service at Douglas House in June 2018, and records a £3.1m reduction in outgoings compared to the previous year.

Read again: Why the hospice had to make cuts

Oxford Mail:

Helen House garden (file image)

Fundraising events, such as the hospice's new Bubble Rush in Cutteslowe Park and its iconic Santas on the Run event, raise thousands of pounds annually for its specialist care provision.

Writing in the accounts, the charity's chair of trustees, former Metropolitan Police chief Lord (Ian) Blair, said: "The changes made have been instrumental in securing the service for the future.

"The decisions we took in 2018 to reduce costs in line with a predictable, sustainable income have stabilised and strengthened our financial position.

"After many years of deficit we have concluded the 2018/19 year with a notable budgetary surplus, which is an incredible and important achievement."

Read again: Families' heartbreak as hospice closes sooner than expected

The accounts were published on the charity's website and recorded 48 'termination payments' including redundancy, amounting to £278,645.

During the last financial year, the hospice closed Douglas House after 14 years caring for young adults there, resulting in 60 job losses.

It has reverted to caring just for babies and children, as was the case when Helen House opened as the world's first children's hospice in 1982.

Lord Blair admitted in his report that the decisions were 'not popular' but said they were 'necessary' to secure the organisation's future.

Five charity shops and a retail warehouse were also shut down during the year.

The cost-cutting also followed the resignation of hospice founder Sister Frances Dominica, who was forced out of the charity over allegations of abuse for which she was never charged.

Also writing in the accounts, the hospice's chief executive Clare Periton said 2018 had been 'challenging and transformational.'

Oxford Mail:

Helen & Douglas House chief executive Clare Periton playing pool with Jasper Grannum, age 13, at the hospice.

She said: "I am sorry for how the decision [to close Douglas House] affected our staff, volunteers and most importantly the young adults we cared for.

"However, I am confident that we made the right decision to secure a future for the organisation."

"Armed with an amazing team of staff and volunteers, together with ambition to develop the service aligned to need and funding, we have an extremely bright future and will able to offer vital care to families in need for many years to come."

Also read: Lord Blair sees in 'a new era' at Oxford hospice

Ms Periton said the hospice still has the support of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, a patron of the charity, and MPs including Anneliese Dodds, Layla Moran and Victoria Prentis.

The accounts reveal that the charity is working with 'another local children's healthcare provider' to make use of the Douglas House building, which neighbours Helen House in Magdalen Road.

Oxford Mail:

Last year Helen & Douglas House looked after 286 children and young adults, and received donations from almost 10,000 supporters.

There was a four per cent dip in donations but a 41 per cent rise in legacies, which are donations left in wills.

The 2018-19 year was also the first that Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group commissioned services from the hospice, providing £75,000, according to the accounts.

Also read: Plight of Helen & Douglas House raised in Parliament

However, the charity has stressed that 85 per cent of its costs rely on public support, with just 15 per cent covered by statutory sources.

It costs £265k per month for the hospice to provide care, family and bereavement support to children and their loved ones.

Lord Blair said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters and volunteers, because without your loyalty and generosity, we simply would not exist.

"I hope you will continue to help us, because there is a constant need for your support."

Anyone who wants to help can visit hdh.org.uk.